John Arensmeyer has used his long experience as a business owner to build Small Business Majority into a nationally recognized small business organization and the leading advocate for critical public policy issues facing America’s entrepreneurs—particularly healthcare reform, clean energy, access to capital and job creation. The organization is focused on ensuring small businesses’ success as a way to rebuild the economy.
John was the founder and CEO of ACI Interactive, an award-winning international e-commerce company. Information Week named ACI's signature product one of the nation's top 100 e-business innovations, and the company was cited by the San Francisco Business Times as one of the top 100 fastest growing private companies in the Bay Area. Earlier, John was the chief operating officer of a pioneering multimedia business and an attorney in New York.
John is a frequent speaker on small business policy issues and a regular guest on TV and radio, including PBS NewsHour, Fox News, Bloomberg TV, NPR's Marketplace, MSNBC's Your Business, MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews and the CBS Evening News. In 2009 he served on a panel at the White House summit on healthcare reform. He testifies regularly before congressional committees, and has briefed congressional leadership on the small business perspective on healthcare reform, clean energy policies, job creation and small business lending. He also sits on the Association for Enterprise Opportunity's Enterprise Economic Impact Council.
Terry Gardiner, based in Seattle, WA, directs Small Business Majority's policy development and works on long-term strategic planning, where he brings to bear his decades of business ownership and job creation experience. He is particularly focused on policies that will ensure the successful implementation of the Affordable Care Act, particularly the establishment of the 50 state small business healthcare exchanges. He also plays a key role in policies that promote a vibrant clean energy economy, access to capital and small business economic development.
Originally a commercial fisherman, Terry founded and spent 22 years as the CEO of Silver Lining Seafoods, later NorQuest Seafoods. He grew the company to over $100 million in sales, with 1,000 employees and markets in 22 countries. After the sale of NorQuest in 2004, he turned to public policy work, focusing on healthcare reform.
Terry is a former Speaker of the Alaska House of Representatives, in which he served for 10 years and authored a host of successful groundbreaking legislation. His work on the $36 billion Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation saves in perpetuity 25% of all oil revenues to fund state government and annually distributes money to all Alaskan citizens to this day.
Terry also devoted considerable time to the development of several lasting institutions, including the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, which promotes the marketing and quality of Alaska seafood products, and the Alaska Commercial Fishing and Agriculture Bank that provides needed financing to remote businesses and fishermen. Terry also shepherded the Private Non-Profit Hatchery Act that has been successful in garnering private sector investment to financially support and rebuild Alaskan salmon runs.
Since 2004, Terry has devoted his efforts to comprehensive healthcare reform. He has worked with state-based healthcare reform groups in his home states of Alaska and Washington. He is a member of the G.A.O. National Co-Op Advisory Board and has testified at numerous congressional committee hearings.
Rhett Buttle directs Small Business Majority’s Washington, D.C. operations, acting as the primary liaison with the White House, Congress and national partners. He also directs the organization's national small business outreach efforts, which include fostering strong relationships with business organizations across the country, growing our Strategic Partnership program and building an active network of small business owners. He plays a lead role in the organization’s institutional fundraising efforts.
Before joining Small Business Majority, Rhett served in the Office of the President at George Washington University. Prior to that, he worked on presidential, state and local campaigns and in the office of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was part of the governor’s legislative team working on healthcare reform, energy and education issues.
Rhett frequently represents Small Business Majority in the media and has spoken on small business issues at the Harvard Institute of Politics, Aspen Institute and Center for American Progress. He also serves on the boards of several different organizations, including the Center for Economic Development (CFED), Entrepreneurship Advisory Network, Center for American Progress Middle Out Advisory Committee and the Board of Directors at the University of San Diego.
Celia Canfield has played senior management and advisory roles for Small Business Majority since its founding. She now advises the organization on its clean energy research and business outreach efforts. She is a long-time small business owner, and, as a consultant in clean energy and sustainability, has worked with West Coast Green, Sustainable Life Media and several other green media properties and solution providers.
With more than 25 years of print and web publishing experience, Celia developed communication programs for some of the world’s largest brands. She built a successful custom content creation agency as a co-founder of Tendo Communications.
Celia is a charter member of Women’s Energy Efficiency Network (WEEnet), and is a member of Efficiency First. She has first-hand understanding of implementing green design and sustainable products and methods from renovating her home to make it LEED-compliant. She wrote about her renovation experiences and was featured in USA Today.